Big Pharma: Brexit bad for drugs
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Big Pharma: Brexit bad for drugs

In Britain, concerns about the future of Brexit are a big talking point. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May indicated that she still believed “no deal is better than a bad deal” and EU negotiator Michel Barnier said that discussions between the two parties were “in a state of deadlock”. This is particularly bad news for drug makers, and a slew of high profile pharmaceutical executives have expressed worries. Amongst them, Merck & Co.’s vice president of regulatory affairs international, Alan Morrison, who said: “Will we be able to do everything on time? Probably not.”

Dominion’s pharmaceutical holdings are having a good year so far

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

May’s “no deal” is not, strictly speaking, a possibility. If the UK and the EU don’t negotiate something special, trade terms will default to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. This poses its own problems, as the WTO pharmaceuticals list “hasn’t been updated since 2010”, according to AstraZenca’s director of European government affairs David Boyd. In the fast-moving world of drug development and approvals, that’s ancient. It means that there is no existing framework for the majority of leading pharmaceutical therapies on the market.

Morrison is not hopeful regarding negotiators’ abilities to get the ball rolling. He warns that “there could be some administrative delays to products being available in Europe” and says that just changing registrations for medicines will be “a large logistical exercise in every company having to make the appropriate market transfer.”

The European Medicines Agency warned last month that Brexit could trigger a “public health crisis”. Boyd agrees, saying “there’s a lot of anxiety.”


Dominion holds a number of pharmaceutical companies in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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